More and more, business owners are talking to people all over the world. As our virtual receptionists and clients know first-hand, most business interactions these days are not face to face. Instead, we communicate via phone, email, and text message, sometimes even if the person is just down the hall! With so much of our lives played out virtually, how do you keep it personal? Here are four practices that the Ruby® live virtual receptionist team uses every day to help us maintain that personal touch:
- Handwritten notecards. Who doesn’t like to get something other than bills and credit card offers in the mail? A personalized notecard is much more effective than an email. I can type at least 100 words per minute, but I can write about ten. A notecard says, “I sat down and thought about you in a meaningful way.”
- Pay attention! When talking to your clients, take note of the little things. Far too often, “How are you?” becomes something you ask out of habit; pause and reflect on their answer. Don’t be afraid to switch it up by asking something like, “What’s new in your world?” It’s unexpected and will get you a real answer, and that’s the first step to making a real connection.
- Breaking news? Subscribe to your clients’ blogs or stop by their website from time to time. Have they moved offices? Hired someone new? What about the news in their area? When the East Coast was inundated with snow last winter, we contacted some of our clients in areas that were hit the hardest to make sure they were ok and to proactively ask about office closures and how we might help their callers.
- Be sincere. The most important thing is to genuinely care about your clients. Be interested, be real, and come from a place of authentic helpfulness. Your clients will notice. Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to make them say, “Omigosh you’re so great!” instead of just, “Cool thanks.”
What do you do to cultivate meaningful relationships with clients and colleagues? Share your advice with a Tweet to @callruby!